The Dallas Cowboys have quite a salary-cap situation on their hands, and despite not having the deepest wide receiver core in the NFL, releasing Miles Austin, who has been quite disappointing over the last couple of seasons, might be their best way to improve the financial flexibility factor.
Austin had fantastic numbers in 2009-2010, catching a total of 150 passes for 2361 yards and 18 touchdowns. However, over the last couple of years, it’s been a hamstring injury that has kept him from bringing the best of his abilities to the field – he missed six games in 2011 due to that problem, catching only 43 passes for 579 yards and 7 touchdowns. In 2012 he didn’t miss a single game but was slowed down by that same hamstring, not to mention being knocked out of games with ankle and knee problems, limiting him to 66 catches, 943 yards and six touchdowns.
If you take Jerry Jones’ word for it, Austin will remain with the Cowboys in 2013.
He’s young. My point is, when I look at his ability to cope with any limitation, it’s as good as going out and looking at other receivers that have got issues.
The Cowboys are still looking into other receivers, regardless of Austin’s situation, needing more than just him and Dez Bryant as throwing options for Tony Romo. Steve Breaston, among others, is scheduled to meet with team officials during the NFL combine. Breaston, a six-year veteran, played for the Kansas City Chiefs last season, catching only 7 passes for 74 yards.
If Austin is to be released, that would save the Cowboys about $4 million in cap space, but with Jones and Jason Garrett probably thinking about keeping him, there’s a good chance that restructuring his deal and gaining $4 million in room by lowering Austin’s $6.73 million base salary to $1.34 million and turning the difference into a signing bonus is what will eventually happen, as Garrett has been looking for ways to lighten the physical load on Austin through limiting his practice work and putting more emphasis on hydration.